The Most Valuable Gift You Can Leave Your Loved One: A Plan
One of the most overlooked and undervalued gifts you can leave your loved one is a plan. In home care we find that a great number of our clients do not have a plan in place in case something happens to them such as a life altering disability or death. Some people believe that an estate plan is only for the wealthy or a will is good enough. Others think they are to young to put together a comprehensive plan. The reality is no matter your age or income everyone needs to have a plan. An advance care plan, estate plan, a will and power of attorney are all essential to guiding those left to make critical decisions on your behalf, these documents protect your assets and give you and your family control. We have witnessed firsthand how having a plan can relieve stress and anxiety during difficult times.
Advance Care Planning
It’s a difficult subject to think about, but if you were no longer able to speak for yourself, what arrangements would you hope had been made prior? That’s where advance care planning comes in. End of life treatment and care is often heavily based on someone’s spiritual preferences and beliefs. You are the only one who truly knows what you would want in this situation, and it protects your loved ones from having to make a decision and wonder whether it was the right choice. A few ways to plan for these circumstances include the following conversations:
- Any information on life-sustaining measures. What causes the need for them, what are the after affects, etc.
- Treatments you would or would not want if you had an illness or injury that was life-limiting
Whether or not you believe you have one, you have an estate. You may not think of your belongings as an estate, but anything you own whether it be a car, house, any investments, life insurance, other real estate, etc. is your combined estate and unfortunately you can’t take it with you when you go. It’s important to clearly document where and whom you want your items to go to. This way there will be no confusion, and you will know your items will be where they will be cared for and appreciated.
Last Will and Testament
Your will is a legal document that specifies where your property will go after you have passed. This document details all final wishes. The more specific the better so your loved ones will not have to guess what your wishes would have been.
Power of Attorney
Your power of attorney (POA) is selected by you and is entrusted to make decisions for specified circumstances (such as healthcare), and legal and financial matters. It cannot be said enough how important it is that this person will operate in your best interest which makes it crucial that you select the correct POA.
When planning for your future don’t forget to ensure you have these essential documents in place. These documents are a gift that will not only protect your family but also your legacy. Not sure where to start? Give us a call. We have a list of resources that specialize in assisting families with future planning.